Tampa is still sitting only six points outside of a playoffs spot. However, they're also sitting four points out from 15th in the Eastern Conference as well. Another first overall pick could still be in their future.
Of the seven teams vying for that coveted eighth spot - #8 Boston, #9 Atlanta, #10 NY Rangers, #11 Carolina, #12 Tampa Bay, #13 NY Islanders, #14 Florida - the Lightning have the worst record in their last ten games. Tampa Bay is 2-7-1 in their past ten. Even if you throw in #15 Toronto, the Lightning have still played the worst in those previous 10 games. Only seven point stand between #8 Boston and #14 Florida.
So what went wrong? Bad luck, bad penalties, and poor defense. One could throw in poor coaching as well, but I suppose that just depends on your world view.
The Caps didn't have a great game. They weren't playing well, didn't have a lot of shots at first, and just sort of cruised thru the game until the third period when they got their third goal. It was completely winnable from the Lightning's side of things. It's sort of hard to win even a game like that when no one's consistent.
The next game is tonight at 5 pm Eastern, at the Florida Panthers.
Capitals vs Lightning coverage [SB Nation]
Japers' Rink [SB Nation Washington Capitals site]